A Round Trip Around The Diamond 

After a six-year hiatus, the World Baseball Classic is finally back for the world to see their countries’ stars before baseball season!

By Kyle Cicero

Photo Credit: MLB Network

The final roster for the 2023 World Baseball Classic, including all 20 teams, has been revealed.

Since it was founded in 2006, baseball fans have anticipated the World Baseball Classic event every four years. 

After a hiatus since 2017, the tournament returns on March 7 to ramp up fans for the next pro season!

“Six nations enter the Regensburg Qualifier and only two will earn a chance to play in the World Baseball Classic tournament beginning this March,” said Michael Clair.

In Germany, the Regensburg Qualifier that took place in September 2022 was everyone’s first step into the global tournament. There are three teams that will have their debut in the 2023 Classic’s, unlike teams who were in the World Baseball Classic prior to 2022 and didn’t have to qualify. 

Nicaragua, Great Britain, and Czechia will have a chance this March to be the first ever main tournament winners to win the trophy in their debut. 

In 2006, Panama made their first appearance and failed to make it out of the first round of the main tournament. They will attempt to make it further after requalifying last September. 

In 2017, Israel’s squad made one of the most impressive runs in the WBC that was renowned as a Cinderella story, after being globally ranked as the 41st best team. 

They beat some of the best teams in the tournament. Though their run was eventually ended by the two time former champions of the tournament, Japan, they finished in 6th place out of 20.

“It means a lot,” said Mike Trout, when asked what it meant to be representing his country for the first time in WBC. “I missed out five years ago and watching the guys compete on TV was nice, but it was a long five years waiting so I’m really looking forward to it.”

The Los Angeles Angels outfielder is just one of the many superstars playing for the USA team and spoke to MLB Network about the excitement players have when representing their country in this world tournament. 

As the reigning champions of the Classic, Team USA will hope to win their second title. MLB Network insider John Morosi claimed that USA’s roster team is similar to the championship team in 2017, but ultimately, this team is also the best team the USA squad has ever had. 

However, the 2006 USA team had 3 Hall Of Fame players and they lost in an unlikely fashion, which exemplifies the surprise element in this tournament. 

“This is a tournament of surprises and it seems as if the power nations in the baseball world like the Dominican Team, Team Japan, Team Mexico, Team Venezuela all have the best rosters to ever compete in this tournament,” said John Morosi. 

Most of Team USA’s opponents also come into this tournament with the best rosters they have ever had and only the 2 best teams make it out of each pool. 

Pool A, B,C, and D contain 5 countries each that will compete in 4 different locations; the teams compete within their pools to advance to the quarterfinals. 

At the end of round one for pools A and B, the teams that win first and second place will play the second round in Tokyo, Japan. 

The winners of pools C and D will play the second round in Miami, Florida, which is also where the championship rounds will be held.

Along with the USA’s team and Japan’s team is the last other title winner of the 2013 tournament: the Dominican Republic’s team. 

Both the USA and DR will have a chance to play team Japan in the championship, since the two previous winners of the tournament are in pools C and D. They may face each other in the quarterfinals, which will be a key matchup to look out for. 

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